Site menu:

Latest news:

Tregothnan Estate English Tea :
It's a surprising fact that tea is now being grown in England. Yes, the first ever English tea plantation is on the Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall.

Find out more »

Latest news:

One day tea tasting course!

Location: Tregothnan Estate in Cornwall, the First Tea Estate in England.

Find out more »


Example content image

Welcome! We drink 165 million cups a day in the UK! This website is for anyone who loves tea, and in particular English Tea. You can find out about the history of tea, how we drink tea, types of tea and of course the story behind the classic English Estate Tea.

Afternoon Tea

What is afternoon tea? Well the definition of afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the afternoon of course. Afternoon tea has it’s origins in the United Kingdom, but the expansion of the British Empire in Victorian times spread the habit across the world. These days, changes in the social structure and working patterns means that most British people only take tea at the weekend or on special occasions or as a treat in a hotel or tea shop.

Serving tea

Traditionally, afternoon tea consists of tea served in a teapot with milk and sugar. The tea is loose – tea bags are a modern invention. One disadvantage of a pot of tea made with loose tea is that the tea leaves can get poured into the cup. When the tea is sipped, the tea leaves can get sipped into the mouth too, which most people find unpleasant. The tea strainer was invented to strain out the tea leaves, preventing them entering the cup.

Sandwiches, scones and cakes

Sandwiches are traditionally served with afternoon tea. The sandwiches can be made of cucumber, fish paste, ham, egg and cress or smoked salmon. In addition, scones, cakes and other pastries are usually served with a traditional English tea. Traditional cakes include Victoria sponge, Battenberg cake and fruit cake. The sandwiches and cakes are sometimes served on a three tier stand.

Gone but not forgotten

The traditional English tea is a thing of the past. But many people still enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake at ‘tea time’, although not as a formal meal.

Click here to find out where you can get afternoon tea in London.

High tea

What is high tea? Well many people confuse afternoon tea with high tea but in fact they are completely different types of meal. High tea (sometimes know as meat tea) is a meal eaten in the early evening, usually between 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock. I can be regarded as a substitute for afternoon tea and supper. Historically, it is known as high tea because the meal was eaten at the high table in the dinning room rather than the lower table in the lounge.  High tea is rarely eaten these days and has been replaced by supper or the evening meal.

What do you eat for high tea?

High tea usually consists of cold meats such as ham or roast beef, fish and eggs. Sandwiches are often served followed by cakes and pastries. High tea is an informal meal.